Life Journal (10/9/2015) – Living Together in Unity

Scripture    Psalm 133

How very good and pleasant it is
    when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
    life forevermore.


  • “Kindred” or “brethren” is more than family relationship but also affinity and kinship.
  • The unity of brethren is like two things – the oil used to anoint Aaron as priest and the dew or drizzle that fell up on Mt. Hermon
  • Same idea in Genesis 13 where the idea is the land is not rich enough to support dwelling in unity or intimacy
  • Oil in ordination – God’s blessings and Aaron’s special role
  • Dew is also a drizzle or light rain. Hermon was a site of various temples and holy places, may have been the place where Jesus was transfigured in the New Testament
  • Further comparison then between Hermon and Zion – Zion is a blessed by God as Hermon is blessed with rain. So are those who dwell in unity
  • What is the relationship between Zion and unity of the brethren? How is living in unity related to life everlasting?


As a person wired by God as an introvert, I am not always keen on “dwelling together in unity.” Being apart, having my space is important and even necessary to me. This Psalm of ascent (to be chanted or sung going up to the temple) reminds me of the need and the glory of being together.

God blesses unity – when we live together as if there is enough, when we dwell close to one another without conflict, when we see others as brothers and sisters who are not like us (in DNA, in background and experience, in opinion, in education and training, and so on). This is hard and not just for introverts!

God blesses this unity, this living together. So much so that here the Psalmist likens it to the ordination oil that was poured over Aaron. It is like the rain that waters Mt. Hermon and the presence of God on Mt. Zion where the temple stood.

Unity matters to God and should to us. Not just getting along, but being united. Not just tolerance but living together in genuine community.


God of Aaron, bless us and bless me to live in such unity today that we experience your spirit falling upon as the oil was poured over Aaron’s head. God of Hermon, send your rains to bring life to the communities of every kind where I live and work. God of Zion, dwell in the unity that we seek to embody today and always. Amen.

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